UCU slams University of Stirling plans for redundancies in institute of aquaculture

11 March 2011 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU Scotland has questioned the wisdom of the University of Stirling's decision to effectively shut the only aquaculture institute in Scotland. The university wants to get rid of up to 36 staff by June 2011, which will leave its institute of aquaculture with a skeleton staff and facing likely closure. UCU argues that the institute meets Scottish government priorities through projects that range from feeding the rural poor in Africa to supporting the multi-billion dollar commercial fish farming sector.

The union believes the institute is being hit because it does not provide a surplus on the university's internal budgetary process. However, UCU argues that the budgetary system is not a fair way to evaluate the institute because is mainly research based.

The union said it is particularly concerned about a slash and burn approach to specialist departments in Scotland's universities. Last year the renowned GUARD unit, which featured in archaeology television programmes, was cut adrift of Glasgow University.

UCU Scottish official, Mary Senior, said: 'We oppose compulsory redundancies at the University of Stirling and are astounded that such a unique institute that is vital to Scotland's economy and fish farming in particular is being shut, because it does not fit into the obscure planning budgets of the university.

'There is a worrying trend of shutting courses and units that don't neatly fit into the rigid budgetary plans of universities, yet are vital for Scotland. It's the worst example of people who now the price of everything but value of nothing being responsible for such important decisions.'

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